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joeap
01-31-2006, 08:43 AM
While I love personal pilot accounts and think they are useful, in thier place, please look at the following bit of a long thread (about Barbarossa). thread link (http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37048&page=28)
Especially this bit...


Posted by R.N. Armstrong
From my personal experience in wars, and particularly the first Persian Gulf War, I can testify that while I was there in the operations "Shield" and "Sword", I knew, and probably know less, than you and all the other viewers of that war. Granted the higher up you go you will see more, but Manstein at the front does not know what happens back at OKH headquarters or in AGN or AGC--he gets all that second hand with the same vulnerabilities as a memoir.

...

posted by The Purist

there is absolutely no guarantee that a first hand account of an action is any more factual than an author that makes use of multiple sources. Perspectives can vary depending on where one is on the battlefield. One soldier can watch an attack and report "it was a disaster" while another could report "resistance was stiff but we took the position".




The same can be true of pilot accounts, if we don't look at other sources. As it does for history in general, we have to use a lot of pieces to try to put the puzzle together.

Flame away. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

joeap
01-31-2006, 08:43 AM
While I love personal pilot accounts and think they are useful, in thier place, please look at the following bit of a long thread (about Barbarossa). thread link (http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37048&page=28)
Especially this bit...
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Posted by R.N. Armstrong
From my personal experience in wars, and particularly the first Persian Gulf War, I can testify that while I was there in the operations "Shield" and "Sword", I knew, and probably know less, than you and all the other viewers of that war. Granted the higher up you go you will see more, but Manstein at the front does not know what happens back at OKH headquarters or in AGN or AGC--he gets all that second hand with the same vulnerabilities as a memoir.

...

posted by The Purist

there is absolutely no guarantee that a first hand account of an action is any more factual than an author that makes use of multiple sources. Perspectives can vary depending on where one is on the battlefield. One soldier can watch an attack and report "it was a disaster" while another could report "resistance was stiff but we took the position".


</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The same can be true of pilot accounts, if we don't look at other sources. As it does for history in general, we have to use a lot of pieces to try to put the puzzle together.

Flame away. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif

Pirschjaeger
01-31-2006, 09:03 AM
Who ever the pilot is or was, I take all accounts with a grain of salt.

When they all say that "this plane did this", then I believe it, like the case with the full fuel tanks in the P51 being very dangerous.

But when a pilot talks about how good or how bad the enemy was, this of course is also in relation to his skills.

Pilot accounts are like fiction based on reality, they make nice reads anyway. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Fritz

Blutarski2004
01-31-2006, 09:08 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by joeap:
While I love personal pilot accounts and think they are useful, in thier place, please look at the following bit of a long thread (about Barbarossa). thread link (http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37048&page=28)
Especially this bit...
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">
Posted by R.N. Armstrong
From my personal experience in wars, and particularly the first Persian Gulf War, I can testify that while I was there in the operations "Shield" and "Sword", I knew, and probably know less, than you and all the other viewers of that war. Granted the higher up you go you will see more, but Manstein at the front does not know what happens back at OKH headquarters or in AGN or AGC--he gets all that second hand with the same vulnerabilities as a memoir.

...

posted by The Purist

there is absolutely no guarantee that a first hand account of an action is any more factual than an author that makes use of multiple sources. Perspectives can vary depending on where one is on the battlefield. One soldier can watch an attack and report "it was a disaster" while another could report "resistance was stiff but we took the position".


</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The same can be true of pilot accounts, if we don't look at other sources. As it does for history in general, we have to use a lot of pieces to try to put the puzzle together.

Flame away. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/784.gif </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


..... Personal accounts, like all other sorts of data and evidence, should be treated in the following manner -

----- H A N D L E W I T H C A R E -----


That having been said, there is a place for the subjective point of view alongside the objective point of view. Example - if 85 percent of pilots anecdotally recollect that aircraft A was superior on the dive to aircraft B, in spite of official data apparently to the contrary, it cannot be dismissed out of hand. Official data can be skewed for any number of reasons. Conditions in action may differ dramatically from conditions under which official tests are conducted.

Pirschjaeger
01-31-2006, 09:59 AM
Agreed. Common sense should be the deciding factor.

Fritz

Jetbuff
01-31-2006, 10:20 AM
Another serious problem with pilot accounts, aside from our own often prejudiced interpretations, is that you only get to hear one side of the story. What about the other guy? The one that got shot down?

Imagine the following: pilot A in his 'Stang out-turns and shoots down pilot B in a 109. If we ask pilot A, he will naturally say the P-51 could out-turn the 109.

Meanwhile, we can't ask pilot B what happened, which may or may not be key to our understanding of what transpired. e.g. What if pilot B never saw A coming and was just simply reversing? What if pilot B was a rookie? What if pilot B was carrying Gondolas? What if he was too afraid to turn too hard because of a bad prior experience? What if he had just woken up on the wrong side of the bed that day? What if...? And that's the point, we often don't know the whole story.

Therefore pilot A is not lying or mis-remembering, it's just that "he outturned all the 109's he encountered" is more accurate and cannot immediately be extrapolated to every single P-51/109 matchup. The latter would be like watching a couple of Formula 1 clips about a particular team's successes and surmizing that their cars/drivers were always better than the opposition.

PS: try this easy test: get online and engage someone, then after the engagement, regardless of who won, both of you write down your acounts of the fight. Do it several times and then exchange your accounts. It should make for some hilarious/interesting reading.

Pirschjaeger
01-31-2006, 10:35 AM
I once posted that the Fw190A4 could out turn the P40. It was true, I was flying on a server and turn fighting with P40´s. I could easily turn inside them. This proves that the Fw190 can turn inside the great turning allied planes. Oleg´s sim is so inaccurate.

Or, the P40 pilots simply sucked bigtime.

I choose the latter. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Fritz

LEBillfish
01-31-2006, 01:31 PM
Anecdotal evidence is great...Except it should be considered NOTHING more then a point to INVESTIGATE with facts to back it up.

That doesn't mean the person/pilot is lying, or wrong, or can't be trusted, yet memory fades, excitement of the moment inflates or softens due to the mood of the moment and then at the time of reflection........

Yet worst of all, MANY anexdotal accounts I've read are simply repeated over and over by others...After a while with all tales, something either gets lost or added in the telling.

My research into the JAFC/Ki-61/4th Koukuugun REALLY has run up against this time and time again. Where if you really start questioning where the person got their facts..."in published taken for fact books"....You soon discover they're repeating what was told in another book adding their twist YET quoting it as though the original documentation even stating the document......

Yet that's not where it ends....You quickly find the person that wrote the book the first based his info on did the same, and then again, and again......Till finally you reach the originator......and you'd be amazed at how often they had not even read the original document simply stating what they were "told" it contained.

In the end there is ONLY one way to be sure, either experience it yourself (but then to others your opinions should be suspect)....Or have hard official data the opposition agree's with.....AND THEN...that supported by other directly related evidence building a pyramid of fact to that one point.

It s***s, but just how it is as even the books supposed to be fact on the subjects....EVEN government documents......Were all written by the falable and opinionated human.

So use anecdotes as nothing more then a tip of something worst investigating.......State an anecdote as fact....and you're simply lengthening the chain of possible error.

Pirschjaeger
01-31-2006, 02:20 PM
LeBillfish, is that your experience or are you quoting someone? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/blink.gif

http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif Well written and quite accurate. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Fritz

horseback
01-31-2006, 02:41 PM
I'm a great believer in personal accounts-until I got one, my ex-wife was taking ALL the money...uhmm, er...

Oh. That kind of personal account.

I find them useful, as long as the account describes something that agrees with most other accounts of similar situations. It helps you spot common tactics, accepted beliefs, and just occasionally, how they actually got the aircraft to perform the way it did for the really gifted pilots.

Mostly though, it gives you a feel for how the plane flew and responded, not necessarily how many seconds it took to fly a tight horizontal circle.

Wartime pilots didn't generally take the time to find out how much of the 'intelligence' they were given on enemy aircraft was wrong post-war. As a rule, they go on believing what they learned/were told then, as we can see from some of the pilot's memoirs we get from the Soviet pilots: western pilots were paid for kills, the British and Americans purposely delayed the D-Day invasions in order to 'bleed' the Red Army so it wouldn't be such a threat after VE Day...

I heard a high ranking WWII ace talking about the 109 he got to test-fly during the war; he said that he didn't think it was anything special, but then, he never flew one that hadn't crash landed or been pasted together out of wrecks, either...

cheers

horseback

LEBillfish
01-31-2006, 02:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
LeBillfish, is that your experience or are you quoting someone? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's simply how I do my research.......& I have no lofty goal of fame or publication in mind. I simply want to find the truth.

BaldieJr
01-31-2006, 03:03 PM
the ******ed thing about charts/graphs is that planes down't fly themselves and veteran combat pilots usually teach instead of test but whatever

Pirschjaeger
02-01-2006, 01:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LEBillfish:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Pirschjaeger:
LeBillfish, is that your experience or are you quoting someone? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's simply how I do my research.......& I have no lofty goal of fame or publication in mind. I simply want to find the truth. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

LeBillfish, have you noticed that the more you search for the truth, it often seems to be getting further away, regarding history that is?

Fritz